If you were to fall asleep reading Raymond Carver stories while Bruce Springsteen’s Nebraska played in the background, your nightmares might look a lot like Chris Sullivan’s animated tale of three small-town locals eking out lives of suffocating desperation. (The titular phrase refers both to the inebriating liquids one character uses to kill his existential pain and the way society slowly devours all three of the protagonists' souls.) A genuine labor of love and fictional self-loathing, Sullivan’s animation style is undeniably compelling, whether he’s channeling Grant Wood’s paintings or Robert Crumb’s monochromatic sketches. But the interweaving stories of commercialized religion, rancid Americana and alcoholic wretches start wearing thin around the movie’s midpoint; by the end, the whole morose endeavor risks becoming downright threadbare.
Time Out says
- Duration:136 mins
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